Players of the Year
Mo Hamzeh, River Hill, Sr.
The three-year starter and four-year varsity player helped return the state title to River Hill with his dramatic goal in the Hawks' 1-0 Class 3A state championship win over Dulaney. The goal capped a stellar season for the skilled forward, one in which he led the county in goals with 18 and added nine assists. Hamzeh could do it all for the Hawks -- shoot, control the ball, turn the corner -- and he will take his skills to Johns Hopkins next year.
Josh Burford, Glenelg, Sr.
Burford's abilities this year were no secret, but the talented forward still seemed to score at will for the Gladiators. His 15 goals were the most in the regular season among county players, and his total likely would have been higher had Glenelg made it past Atholton in the 2A West Region quarterfinals. Still, the loss did nothing to diminish Burford's season: His hat trick against River Hill helped Glenelg to its first county title in school history.
Coach of the Year
Don Shea, Oakland Mills
Shea has never done things in an orthodox way, and for a stretch in the regular season he did not allow his team to score off its most deadly weapon -- the throw-in -- or off corner kicks. The strategy worked in the state playoffs, as the team learned to pass to feet and scored both its goals in its state championship victory off traditional shots. Shea has also been known to bench starters and frequently rotates his lineup, but it has been a formula for success. Oakland Mills's most recent title was the school's state-record 12th.
Kwaku Boateng, Hammond, Sr.: Boateng always seems to come alive in the postseason, and he had seven goals as the Golden Bears repeated as 2A West Region champions. Last year's all-county player of the year totaled 15 goals and six assists this season and finished his career with 58 goals.
Randy Collins, Centennial, Sr.: Collins doesn't say much on the field, but his game speaks volumes. The repeat all-county selection had six assists and 12 goals, four of which were game-winners.
Brad Costantino, Glenelg, Sr.: With an all-county goalkeeper lost to graduation, Glenelg's defense remained stout, and Costantino was a major reason. The 6-foot-2 central defender keyed a defense that gave up only 13 goals all year. He will play next year at Elon University.
Jonathan Csanady, River Hill, Sr.: The Hawks' senior defender received little fanfare during the season, but when it came to naming the key to River Hill's defensive success, Coach Bill Stara was quick to point to the impenetrable sweeper.
Jerome DeFrances, Atholton, Sr.: DeFrances likely could have played anywhere on the field for the Raiders, but his presence on the back line led directly to Atholton's playoff upset of Glenelg. He likely saved as many chances as Atholton's goalie in that game, and he finished the year with four goals.
Marco Filliponi, Wilde Lake, Sr.: When Filliponi got open space, he often made teams pay. The senior striker totaled 15 goals and four assists. Four of his goals won games for the resurgent Wildecats.
Justin Hughes, River Hill, Sr.: Other players got the goals, but it was Hughes who was the motor for the Hawks, scoring 10 goals and assisting on 15 others. A four-year varsity player, Hughes scored 35 goals and had 38 assists for the Hawks.
Saah Johnson, Oakland Mills, Jr.: Johnson transferred from Mount St. Joseph and gave the Scorpions a talented striker and a big scoring threat. He had five goals and seven assists, but no goals were more important than his pair in the Class 1A state championship game.
Stanley Kaweesi, Oakland Mills, Sr.: Kaweesi was more comfortable at midfield than he was at striker, but wherever he was on the field, he was the Scorpions' inspiration. A four-year starter, he had three goals and four assists this year.
Evan Rodway, Wilde Lake, Sr.: The Wildecats' offense ran through Rodway in the midfield. The senior and four-year varsity player responded with seven goals and six assists.
Brian Swiech, Mount Hebron, Sr.: An all-county selection as a sophomore, Swiech regained that form this year as he had three goals and three assists for the Vikings.
Brian Walter, River Hill, Sr.: Walter, a keen stopper, was also valuable in the midfield, where he was capable of making long runs with the ball. As a two-way player, Walter scored seven goals and had nine assists, but he also helped shut down opposing strikers.
Andy Wilhelm, Centennial, Soph.: Wilhelm made believers out of many in the county as a surprise starter in goal as a freshman, and he had an impressive encore, notching six shutouts and allowing only 14 goals.
Goalkeepers: Dan Rogers, Oakland Mills, Sr.; Dave Marquart, River Hill, Sr.
Forwards: Kyle Beliczky, Glenelg, Sr.; Jeronimo Cortez, Long Reach, Jr.; Sevi Sinanian, Mount Hebron, Jr.
Midfielders: David Adams, River Hill, Jr.; Steve Basso, Hammond, Soph.; Agyemang Boateng, Long Reach, Sr.; Gary Coble, Glenelg, Jr.; Greg Long, Centennial, Sr.; Mike Stromberg, River Hill, Sr.
Defense: Robbie Carper, Mount Hebron, Soph.; Glenn Clardy, Oakland Mills, Sr.; Abraham Larrobra, Oakland Mills, Jr.; Adam Magruder, Oakland Mills, Sr.; Scott Musser, Wilde Lake, Sr.; Jim Osborne, Glenelg, Sr.; Dan Slaughter, Hammond, Sr.; Phil Thomas, Howard, Sr.